Beth Revis , author of the YA sci-fi/fantasy Across The Universe said “I wrote a book. It sucked. I wrote nine more books. They sucked, too. Meanwhile, I read every single thing I could find on publishing and writing, went to conferences, joined professional organizations, hooked up with fellow writers in critique groups, and didn’t give up. Then I wrote one more book.” She had persistence and now she has three books in the Across The Universe series.
Elmore Leonard got up at 5AM to write before work. And he’s written over forty books.
Beatrix Potter, after several rejections took a bold step and self-published her first rabbit story, defying the active pressures of her upper class Victorian parents to not produce anything of worth.
These folks were inspired and determined to see their work get published. And so am I.
I’m Persistent Too
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve had a bad sense of direction.
I would not only get on the wrong bus, I’d take it going the wrong way. It was unbelievably nerve-racking and embarrassing. But I didn’t give up. And somehow I always made it to where I meant to be.
That ability to stay focused on my goal has helped me be a successful movie producer, plan trips to faraway places (BTW, where my husband takes charge of reading the map), and write a number of manuscripts (some of which you can learn about on “My Manuscripts” Page, above.
But recently I wondered if one has to be born with a persistence gene much like “naturally” thin people somehow always stay thin. Turns out scientists have quantified the choices thin people innately make that provide them with a lifetime of being trim.
So although I’ve always been this way, I took a look at the tricks I “naturally” play on myself to keep me on my path.
- I boldly tell people what I’m going to do. My ego would be too bruised to later tell them I fizzled out on walking 10,000 steps/day, or broke my fast at Lent, or just plain gave up on my dream of being a published author. And I can’t be published if I don’t write the damn thing!
- I keep lists of what I need to do to accomplish my goals. I love crossing things off lists because I know when I’ve crossed everything off – I’m done!
- I spend a lot of time feeling how good it’s going to be when I get where I want to be. If lists keep the left brain on track, dreaming about how fabulous it will be when I win the Michael L Printz award for my YA novel.
- I carve out time for what really excites me. It’s so easy to let the responsibilities and activities of living distract from what really makes us happy. I’ve made it my priority to put what excites me at the top of my daily to do list.
- I enjoy every task along the way. I used to dread writing query letters. Not anymore. I relish each aspect of every task (be it related to getting published or putting on a dinner party). Life is about the journey and I’ve decided to enjoy the getting there.
Let me know how you keep yourself on your path.